Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags' Success Turns on Turnovers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags' Success Turns on Turnovers

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

As the New York Jets prepared to punt on a fourth-and-2 at the Jacksonville 43-yard line early in the second quarter yesterday, Jaguars special teams coach John Bonamego decided to call for a punt block attempt.

His timing couldn't have been better.

Jets punter Matt Turk, seeing Nick Ferguson uncovered, decided to try to throw to him for a first down.

But since Ferguson thought Turk was going to punt, he didn't turn around. Turk, who had raised his arm to throw, suddenly saw himself facing the big rush led by Jimmy Redmond because the Jaguars had the punt block on.

Turk dropped the ball and by the time he picked it up, Redmond had grabbed him. Turk then tried to throw in desperation and Donovin Darius intercepted and ran 3 yards to the Jacksonville 48. Seven plays later, the Jaguars scored for a 14-0 lead en route to a 28-3 victory.

It was the first of four turnovers yesterday for the Jaguars, who had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. The Jaguars also didn't turn the ball over for a plus-four turnover margin. Darius and Jason Craft had interceptions and Eric Westmoreland and Fernando Bryant had fumble recoveries.

"We wanted to be greedy today," Craft said.

The Jaguars, who spent much of the offseason stressing getting more turnovers, are now plus-five in that category after three games. They've got eight turnovers and have turned it over only three times. Last year, they were minus-three in turnovers.

"I was coming from the left end. You pin your ears back and try to get him," Redmond said of the punt block attempt. "We forced him to make him a bigger mistake [the interception after he first dropped the ball]. As usual Double D [Darius] was there to make the play."

Darius said, "He [Turk] kind of panicked a little bit and, fortunately, the ball ended up in my hands. I was thinking about scoring, but somebody grabbed my legs."

The Jets turned the ball over seven times in the first three games and the Jaguars figured they could victimize them again. …

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